Page 1176 - Tails of Empire, Part 1

31st Jan 2019, 6:00 AM
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Tails of Empire, Part 1
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 31st Jan 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
Author: ChrisTheS

Guest Author's Note: "The nice thing about doing guest spots for FiD is being able to cover stuff that I don't have the opportunity for in my own comic. I've had this historical story in mind for over a year, but every time I tried scripting it as a special issue it just didn't work out, so I decided to do it in short form here. The only bit of those old scripts I've managed to salvage is the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reference in the last panel. The characters are a bit of a hodgepodge; half of them are extremely loose expies of characters from the 'Tales of the Jedi' comics, two are even looser expies of characters from other Star Wars comics, and the one played by Pinkie is (at least visually) taken from Final Fantasy X-2."


Digo Dragon 31st Jan 2019, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Children without permission? That's... an interesting can of worms.
Raven 31st Jan 2019, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
Well, presumably Rainbow's player meant the DM decided Rainbow Dash voluntarily had kids without consulting the player, rather than Rainbow Dash being forced in-character to have kids. Does that make sense? Not having names for the players makes talking about them surprisingly challenging.
Digo Dragon 31st Jan 2019, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Yes, that's what I'm saying as well. The can of worms I'm referring to is how the GM made an important life-decision for someone's character without their consultation.

As Guest below said, even if it's a favorable decision, players do not like such decisions made without them. Even I would take issue with it.
ChrisTheS 31st Jan 2019, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
There are other potential implications as well... I consider this to happen more or less concurrently with the main plot developments, but since the plot of my comic follows both show and IDW comics canon, that means things happened to NPC-Mane-Six in the previous game that haven't happened in FiD yet, such as Princess Twilight, Spike's wings, etc. The implication being that the GM also made those decisions without their players' say-so, unless it turns out that Twilight's player has her epic destiny picked out already (which is a distinct possibility).
ChrisTheS 31st Jan 2019, 9:54 AM edit delete reply
(I will point out that one of my first GMs had a standing rule that beyond the confines of the current game, our characters were his NPCs, which wasn't that big of a deal for us. Other groups may have different views).
ChrisTheS 31st Jan 2019, 9:46 AM edit delete reply
One of the things that I still think is weird about my story is that Rainbow Dash, of all of them, was the only one to have kids (which was decided for plot reasons and I had to come up with a convoluted character explanation for why Rainbow did and Applejack didn't). The irony of a society in which loyalty can be bought for a pittance being descended from the supernatural embodiment of loyalty was too good to pass up even if it didn't make a heck of a lot of sense.
Guest 31st Jan 2019, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
I'm running a game where the players are the children of their previous characters, who are now NPCs. I was surprised to discover that it's quite a minefield. Some people really don't like seeing their characters under someone else's control, even if it's a favorable representation. On top of that, the child of X often ends up as just a different-colored X with the same personality. In the future, I'll probably try to avoid connections to previous games except by setting and NPCs that were NPCs before.
Icefall Kitsune 31st Jan 2019, 2:19 PM edit delete reply
Icefall Kitsune
If the XYZ player's are amenable, the parent of X is would be Y and/or Z and so forth. This should prevent "child clone" of parent.
Joe the Rat 31st Jan 2019, 10:36 AM edit delete reply
And here I was going to point out that in space opera settings, a can of worms can lead to unpermitted reproduction.
ChrisTheS 31st Jan 2019, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
In hindsight, I wonder if I unconsciously decided that RD was the only one grumpy about this because a bunch of my readers complained about (insert favorite Mane Six character here) getting killed off over the course of my story, despite my having made it extremely clear that their lives at that time were utterly miserable and they're much happier as ghosts.
Dragonflight 31st Jan 2019, 11:45 AM edit delete reply
The closest I ever came to that was a Mekton campaign. The players were playing the children of the first generation group, and one of the players specifically didn't want to. He wanted to play someone totally different, then challenged me to find a way to make that character a connected part of the group.

Challenge accepted...

In the first gen game, the player's PC had a family. They had twin daughters, but the first died in childbirth. Right on the edge of death, the child was placed in medical suspension, with a geneticist promising they'd find a way to save the girl. Then they vanished from the story, and everyone forgot about them.

About two real months into the second gen game, the character meets an identical version of herself. The other girl is the daughter of the first gen character, and demands to know who the imposter is.

After things get sorted out, the player realizes his character is actually the almost-died daughter who was medically rescued by that geneticist almost two decades prior, who then raised her as his own daughter.

He blinked, dropped his game notes, and commented, "DAMN! I totally forgot about that!" Then everything went on normally. So, no fallout or anything for me.
aylatrigger 31st Jan 2019, 9:47 PM edit delete reply
Reminds me of when I accidentally messed with the GM... I wanted to play a Luchador and play to all the tropes. ...Though with a few bonus things... I was a tiefling, so another reason to always be masked...though my skin also looked like a luchador mask... and multiclassed Monk/White Hair Witch...and used my big-burly-arm-shaped mustache (My name was El Bigote Blanco) to fight in Mixed Martial Magic Mustache Fights.
Anyway, I read up that one of the classic luchadors was a priest who ran an orphanage, and I decided to follow suit. Being a super generous and caring LG adventurer starting at level 4 and needing very little equipment, I figured I would put most of my funds into the orphanage.
...Usually even a little gold could run an orphanage very well. But I was super generous and cared very much for these kids. And all kids. And with how much money I had left after equipment, I figured I could keep an orphanage with 100 children in great shape. I even added backstory saying my previous adventure party started the orphanage due to some quest where an entire village's adults died.
Being a sometimes-GM and a bit enthusiastic, I did not stop there. I got a list of random names, races, ages, and if old enough, classes. Mostly they had no classes or were commoners, but as ex-adventurers, we tried to teach them, and encouraged them to seek whatever jobs they wanted. Kind of weird that one of the boys randomly got the 'courtesan' class, but as long as he is safe with it and actually wants it, I guess? He mainly was only using it to talk to people. Of course we weren't letting him do more adult things.
Anyway, having 100+ NPCs (albeit low leveled) and being suddenly famous as 'The Greatest Orphanage in the Kingdom', 'Better living than most peasents', and 'That weird dude who always goes around in a wrestling costume and mask, and has big burly mustache arms' apparently upset the GM for changing the town too much... Though I think it is still better than the time the party decided we would be a travelling circus and would ignore the quest the king gave us. Or the game we never did, but had decided to raise magic beast livestock and ignore any quests...
ANW 31st Jan 2019, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Story time
You rolled a one, something good happen.
You rolled a twenty, something bad happen.
Failure is Magic doesn't count.
Specter 31st Jan 2019, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
Nat 1; Our little band of misfits got separated. I regularly split the party, nothing new here. The rest, not so much. More so since two of the party members are in their first long runnig campaign. We have no not allies to speak of, only the gear we brought. All of that however is for another time.

I was transported to a dungeon on the edge of town and was told by an ethereal voice to escape. Long story short, I was also here with one of our arch rivals. They attempted to poison me, and I fumbled the fortitude check. I got very sick, and very weak. This didn't look good when the local guards arrived five minutes after I set the roof on fire by mistake. Rival arrested, I am sent to a clinic. Hooray!

Nat 20; Mind controlled, initiates PvP, crits the healer and breaks their leg, and gets knocked unconscious from barbarian and fighter. I awaken an hour later, and told I have to go out and save the cleric because they could escape a pack of wild dogs, and is now stuck in a tree... yay.
Draxynnic 31st Jan 2019, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
The obvious one:

You're firing into a grapple, in 3rd edition D&D. The target of the attack has already been rolled randomly, and you're rolling to hit your friend...

For something a little less mechanical:

The party of relatively low-level adventurers were investigating a village which was apparently under some sort of curse: monsters were showing up and people were going missing. We'd already ruled out normal werecreatures, and had concluded that it was just the garden variety "people were disappearing because the monsters were getting them."

I was playing the stereotypical minmaxed big dumb fighter type - something that had surprised my group, as normally even my fighter-types have at least one good mental stat (there's a backstory reason for why this guy is what he is, but my group hasn't found out what that is yet). So when we get attacked by monsters in the street, he naturally pulls out is weapon - essentially a scythe for game mechanics purposes - and brings it down on the dog-like creature trying to bite him.

Nat 20. Welcome to the joys of a x4 crit multiplier. Straight to the heart, and I was to blame...

...and then the monster turned into one of the missing people. Turned out they were cursed to become monsters, and knocking them into negative hit points was enough to make them revert. From a metagaming perspective, the expectation would be that a low-level party wouldn't be able to overkill the first "monster" they took down quite so thoroughly...

Fortunately, there'd been enough roleplaying beforehand to establish that my character could make a pair of short planks look sharp, so when the party was trying to explain what happened, my character was standing over the body looking confused and saying "Was dog. Now man?" This defused the situation, since the villagers decided that my character was too dumb to lie.
Digo Dragon 31st Jan 2019, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
The grapple issue came up once in a funny meta way. The party ranger was trying to hit a mini-boss who was in grappling with the party monk. The ranger had been rolling terribly this combat, so the rogue told him to aim at the monk and roll a 1. So out of frustration he declared he was firing at the monk with his longbow.

And rolled a 1.

Ten minutes later we all were able to stop laughing and pick ourselves up. I declared that the luck gods took pity on the ranger and ruled he did critical hit damage on the miniboss. That turned the tide and allowed the monk to "flurry of headbutts" the miniboss into unconsciousness.
aylatrigger 31st Jan 2019, 9:53 PM edit delete reply
Nat 1: My favorite time was when I GM'ed a game where they went to an Infinite Library, where every book every written existed in it as only one copy, which counted as every copy in existence.
Player: "I look for a good book to read." ...rolls 1.
Me: "...You find Twilight."
Player: "...I burn it. Then I proceed to look for all other books in the series and do the same."

So at least one multiverse has no copies of any Twilight book.
aylatrigger 31st Jan 2019, 11:02 PM edit delete reply
Nat 20: In Ponyfinder game, one of our characters tried attacking a bed...and nat 1, so fell unconscious after hitting a wall. We rolled perception checks to see if we heard it. ...Or at least all but the deaf foal did. Anyway, he rolled too. Nat 20. ...But he was unconscious and it was a perception check to hear himself go unconscious. So instead he started having dream hallucinations. We later ruled that the bed was a powerful psychic living bed, and had caused him to have weird dreams. ...While the dreams probably count as bad, it was hilarious enough and we later made the bed a cohort. ...Its species can't move on its own, but it also has monk levels to give extra movement speed, and can switch minds with others (so they are stuck in the un-moving bed body with no mouth or limbs that can move...)
Guest 31st Jan 2019, 7:31 AM edit delete reply
Space Pirate, you say?
*Ridley's theme intensifies*
Winged Cat 31st Jan 2019, 1:02 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
There are actually quite a few representations of space pirates, not just the Metroid series. Everything from basically unrecognized interstellar states (some somewhat peaceful, some outright conquering hordes like Ridley's), to showboaters doing elaborate insurance schemes, to common criminals.
FanOfMostEverything 31st Jan 2019, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
One of my favorite details of Star Mares is how, no matter how many millennia she lived, Pinkie literally never grew up.

In any case, this looks like it'll be a lot of fun. And that H2G2 reference was definitely worth salvaging.
Guest 31st Jan 2019, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
Wow, Dash sure got around, if these are all her kids. Good for her.
ChrisTheS 31st Jan 2019, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
Those are only four of her kids. She had (at least) ten.
GrayGriffin 1st Feb 2019, 3:59 AM edit delete reply
It was actually meant to be a joke about how apparently her kids also include a poid and a Diamond Dog.
ChrisTheS 1st Feb 2019, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Ah. Well, I suppose there's nothing against it in the rules...
Winged Cat 31st Jan 2019, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I get the feeling she may have used (and perhaps helped the development of) exowombs, and then just kept donating egg cells until she realized how many kids she had.
ChrisTheS 31st Jan 2019, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
While that would be a good idea, it would totally break the plot of the original series :P
you know that guy 31st Jan 2019, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
heh, at panel 9 I was like "wait, which pony has yellow and black dialogue?"
Joe the Rat 31st Jan 2019, 10:33 AM edit delete reply
I was keeping an eye out for that one. I was thinking "Now what color is the GM when not the GM? Is that the GM? No... that one? No.... Hey, that... oh yeah, that one."
ChrisTheS 31st Jan 2019, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
I figured I'd best not mess with the paradigm too much :)
ChrisTheS 31st Jan 2019, 10:36 AM edit delete reply
Extended commentary here, for those who want it:
Borg 31st Jan 2019, 12:00 PM edit delete reply
Star Mares guest comics! Is it time for a Kermit flail? I think it's time for a Kermit flail!

(No offense intended to Newbiespud; your comics just aren't a surprise for obvious reasons.)
Needling Haystacks 31st Jan 2019, 2:41 PM edit delete reply
Anyone else read the last panel as RD gradually speeding up her reading of the backstory as she goes along, then slowing down to digest the bit at the end?
Mr. Guy 31st Jan 2019, 8:01 PM edit delete reply
"When Men were Men and sheep were scared"
Robin Bobcat 31st Jan 2019, 9:00 PM edit delete reply
Points for the Guide reference...
ZamuelNow 31st Jan 2019, 9:24 PM edit delete reply
Was the name 'Wind Whistler' an intentional reference to the G1 pony or merely coincidental?
ChrisTheS 31st Jan 2019, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
One of my comic's POV characters was based on the G1 character; this is her ancestor. In the other crossover, the later Wind Whistler was also played by AJ.
Guest 1st Feb 2019, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
Bless you for introducing me to star mares :-D
sun tzu 2nd Feb 2019, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
"Wind Whistler", but as a pirate? Feels weird, considering G1's Wind Whistler was basically Mister Spock.